Prime Minister Rutte accounted for his corona policy in the Lower House on Wednesday evening: “Not everything went well”.
Hard accusations rain on the head of the prime minister on the day he has been in the Torentje for ten years. “A hesitant leader, who is shifting his responsibilities,” said PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher. “Things are going very wrong,” notes Lilian Marijnissen of the SP. “We did not succeed,” concludes his former crown prince Klaas Dijkhoff. Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks wants an extra minister for testing policy. “Otherwise I have no confidence that it will turn out well.”
Although the government’s virus strategy is still trusted by a majority of the House, the criticism during yet another corona debate is sharper than before. At the same time, the MPs look stunned by the powerful comeback of the virus, just like many in the Netherlands. Encouraged to self-reflection by his own coalition members, Prime Minister Rutte reaches into his own bosom halfway through the debate. “The package should have been firmer” and “I put too much emphasis on personal responsibility.”
Image of division in the cabinet
Looking back on the past few months, the prime minister feels that he has failed to convey the much-needed behavioral change to the population clearly and personally enough. He regrets that a picture has emerged of divisions within the cabinet and between the cabinet and its advisers. The Outbreak Management Team announced on Tuesday that, as far as they were concerned, restaurants could have remained open, while physical higher education had been curtailed.
Lodewijk Asscher of the PvdA is much harder on the cabinet. “It was all too late and too bright. There have been warnings on all sides in the autumn. The only thing the cabinet did at the end of September is to cancel the last round in the pub. ” He calls Rutte a hesitant, nonchalant leader, who shifts responsibilities. “People’s behavior is a mirror of the attitude of the leaders.” Klaver points to the interaction between the behavior of citizens and that of the government. “If the testing policy is not in order, people with complaints still go to work.”
MPs fall hard about Wilders’ tweet
There are major concerns in the Chamber whether entrepreneurs, sports clubs and cultural institutions can keep their heads above water. The call for more and more targeted financial support is widely shared. There are also concerns about the rapid influx of corona patients, displacing other care.
At the beginning of the debate, a fierce discussion ignites between Geert Wilders and other MPs, who fell hard about a tweet from the PVV leader.
They are disturbed by the suggestion that Wilders arouses in this, according to them, as if Dutch people of non-Western descent are pushing others on the ICs. In the debate, Wilders also makes a big point that Turkish and Moroccan Dutch are less observant of the rules than the rest of the population. Dijkhoff: “In any case, it is a good thing that Wilders agrees with the prime minister for a change, that everyone must comply with the rules.” Asscher brings in a poll by 1Vandaag that one in three PVV voters does not adhere to the rules, the highest percentage except for non-voters and FvD voters.
No guarantees are given, but gifts are
The coalition parties are happy with the government’s roadmap, a list of measures as a guide for new outbreaks or relaxation. Gert-Jan Segers wonders whether mistakes made in this way can be prevented in the future. Rutte hopes for more clarity in the policy, but “no guarantees are given”. Gifts do. Before the debate, Klaver offers the jubilant prime minister a booklet entitled “The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump”. I mean, of course.
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